I think we can all agree that the latest 11.04 release of Ubuntu is their weakest in recent history. From a myriad of installation problems (I have not been able to install it successfully on any of my 3 different Dell/Lenovo laptops) to the unfinished and unpolished Unity interface...the problems just keep piling up.
I had a go at Fedora 15 and GNOME 3.0 as well...I needed a couple of Advil to wash down the pain of that experience. It may become something one day...but right now it's just a confusing mess.
So I crossed the Rubikon and went Xubuntu with Xfce 4.8...a really positive surprise.
Works like a proper desktop environment, light, fast, the panels are greatly improved (and better than GNOME 2.0 at this point already), etc...
I've been on Xfce 4.8 for a few weeks now across my different laptops...and it's been a pretty smooth ride. Watch out GNOME and KDE...there is a new game in town.
And Xfce 4.8 actually seems to deliver what us Linux users want.
P.S. Here's my basic Xubuntu setup with a Unity-like single panel on the side and Chrome as the default browser